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Common Orthodontic Problems

Common orthodontic problems are corrected.

A person may have multiple problems at once, and may be treated simultaneously in a single orthodontic treatment. Furthermore, with proper use of modern techniques and technologies, most orthodontic problems can be corrected without removing healthy teeth.

All pictures shown are of actual patients treated by Dr. Cote.

 

Crooked & Crowded Teeth

 

The desire to straighten crowded and / or crooked teeth is the most common reason for seeking orthodontic care.

Besides the obvious benefits of providing a better bite, the ability to reduce the chances of cavities and gum problems.

Crowding problems can be corrected while at any age, but when diagnosed early, they can be prevented or reduced, but they also have a positive impact on overall dentofacial growth & development.

Will I need to have teeth extracted?

In the past, healthy teeth were often extracted as a way to create space for correcting crowding problems. With proper use of cutting edge techniques and technologies, however, almost all orthodontic problems can now be corrected without removing healthy teeth. This noninvasive approach is heavily favoured at Outaouais Orthodontics – we very rarely remove teeth to assist with orthodontic treatment since modern technologies now allow us to instead create full, beautiful, healthy smiles that include all the teeth.

 

Spaces

 

Space between teeth is another very common reason for seeking orthodontic care.

A person can have spaces between their teeth from childhood or spaces can start appearing later in life. While spaces are most commonly seen between the upper front teeth, they can appear anywhere.

Besides the often undesired appearance of spaces between teeth, people can be bothered by the food that continually accumulates in the spaces, and such food accumulation can also contribute to gum disease.

 

Buck Teeth

 

When the upper front teeth protrude further than the other teeth, there is a large distance between the upper and lower front teeth . People often refer to this as Buck Teeth or Big Overbite, but the correct orthodontic term is Excessive Overjet. This is a very common complaint.

Excessive overjet can pose esthetic concerns and also prevents the teeth from working together properly. In addition, the likelihood of tooth and lip injury during physical activity is increased when there is excessive overjet.

At any age, there are excellent options for totally correcting this problem, but treatment is generally a bit quicker and simpler when at least some growth remains.

 

Crossbite

 

Crossbites are also common, and they can occur in the front and/or in the back. In a healthy bite, the upper teeth should overlap their lower counterparts to the outside – a crossbite exists if one or more upper teeth lay inside of one or more lower teeth.

Aside from their often undesirable appearance, uncorrected crossbites can contribute to abnormal tooth wear, asymmetric jaw growth, and jaw joint problems.

As for any orthodontic problem related to growth & development, crossbites are best corrected when treated early, but good treatment options exist at any age.

 

Deep Bite

 

A deep bite is one in which the upper and lower front teeth overlap significantly. They are very common, and the true orthodontic term for a deep bite is Excessive Overbite.

A deep bite can make the lower half of the face look shorter than the upper half because the lower jaw becomes “overclosed”. A deep bite can also contribute to abnormal tooth wear and jaw joint problems.

Deep bites can be corrected very well at any age, but they are treated most quickly and easily when at least some growth still remains.

 

Open Bite

 

An open bite is when the top and bottom teeth don’t touch even when the jaws are closed together. Open bites can exist between the front (anterior) or the back (posterior) teeth, but they are far more common in the front.

In addition to predisposing the back teeth to abnormal wear and potentially aggravating jaw joint problems, an anterior open bite can make it difficult for a person to eat, swallow, and pronounce certain words – an anterior open bite is the most common orthodontic problem to be associated with a lisp.

The recommended orthodontic solution for an anterior open bite depends on its cause, and again, there are more options when treatment is started and completed early, but good solutions exist at any age.

 

Asymmetry

 

A dental asymmetry exists when the midlines of the upper and lower front teeth don’t line up. A skeletal asymmetry is generally seen as a deviation of the lower jaw to one side or the other.

While dental and skeletal asymmetries can exist independently of each other, they often coexist.

In addition to the potential esthetic concerns caused by asymmetries, they can also contribute to functional problems such as abnormal tooth wear and jaw joint problems.

While asymmetries of all types can be corrected at any age, treatment is simpler when there is still growth remaining.

 

Jaw Discrepancy

 

A jaw discrepancy exists when the size of the upper and lower jaws don’t match. A small lower jaw is the most common cause of a jaw discrepancy, but either jaw can be at fault.

A jaw discrepancy can create an unfavourable facial profile and incorrect fit between the upper and lower teeth. This can potentially contribute to such problems as abnormal tooth wear and jaw joint symptoms. A small lower jaw is also generally associated with a large distance between the upper and lower front teeth, something commonly referred to as Buck Teeth (excessive overjet). Patients usually find this esthetically unpleasing, and excessive overjet also increases the risk of injuring the teeth and lips during physical activity.

When diagnosed at a young age, jaw discrepancies can be completely corrected through the use of noninvasive approaches that take advantage of the fact that growth potential still remains. Even in adults, however, excellent results are still achievable.

 

Lip Strain

 

When a person must contract lip and/or chin muscles to close their lips together, this is called Lip Strain or Lip Incompetence. This situation is usually associated with upper and lower teeth that are a little too far forward; the orthodontic term for this is Bimaxillary Protrusion.

The favourable change in lip position and overall facial appearance that can be achieved through simple but careful tooth movement in a person with lip strain can be remarkable.

 

Impacted Teeth

 

Some adult teeth can remain embedded in the jaw bone and covered by the gumseven though they have formed correctly. This is called an impacted tooth.

Impacted teeth can cause a number of problems such as root damage, spacing, and crookedness of surronding teeth. In rare cases, cysts and other pathologies can also form around impacted teeth if left untreated.

If the impacted tooth is a wisdom tooth, it is usually simply extracted. If any other tooth is impacted, however, it is generally far better to guide it into its proper position in the mouth via orthodontic treatment.

The best time to correct an impaction is when most of the baby teeth have naturally fallen out, but impactions can be corrected well later in life too.

 

Gummy Smile

 

A gummy smile – or high smile line – is a smile in which a significant amount of gum tissue is seen above the top teeth when a person smiles. This can be youthful looking in moderation, but when excessive, it can cause esthetic concerns.

The recommended orthodontic solution for a gummy smile depends on its cause and on the person’s age.

 

Low smile

 

The opposite of a gummy smile is a smile where not enough upper teeth show when a person smiles; this is called a low smile line.

A low smile line can produce a premature aging effect, and correcting this does just the opposite.

 

Tooth Wear

 

Some wearing of the teeth with age is quite normal and usually does not require correction.

When the top and bottom teeth do not come together properly, however, tooth wearing can be accelerated and/or can occur in unusual patterns – this is referred to as abnormal tooth wear.

To correct this properly, the orthodontist should first establish a good relationship between the top and bottom teeth (i.e., a “good bite”), and afterwards, tooth-coloured fillings, crowns, or veneers should be placed by the general dentist to replace the worn parts of the teeth, thereby restoring ideal esthetics and functionality.

 

Missing teeth

 

Some people are born with one of more teeth missing and other people can lose teeth over time for various reasons.

Whatever the cause of missing teeth, the additional spacing can be aesthetically unpleasing and tipped to become more effective and more efficient.

Depending on the situation, the best option may be to (1) close the space left by the missing tooth by correctly moving the neighbor teeth into the space, or (2) place the neighbor teeth in proper position and replace the missing tooth.

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